Mitchell’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

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It’s another rainy, cloudy day in Ohio, perfect for curling up with a good book and a pint of ice cream (no bowl needed, of course – just a spoon).  I’ve always loved rainy days; there is something about the soothing sound of raindrops against the rooftop that makes me feel introspective and romantic, like I should be writing –no, penning – a great love story or memoir. Yet something tells me that the literary community wouldn’t take If the Spoon Fits: My Life in Ice Cream, too seriously.  (Which is fine with me; that’s why I have this blog!) So before the rain stops, and while I’m still feeling wistful and self indulgent, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to one of the great loves of my life: Mitchell.

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream, that is.

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I distinctly remember the day that Mitchell’s and I met. I was but a wee teenager, a naïve Akron girl, out on the town with my cool older brother who knew all of the best Cleveland hotspots. When big bro suggested we make a stop at Mitchell’s for a post dinner treat, I grew suspicious. What was this Mitchell’s of which he spoke, and why had I not heard of it before? After all, even at the tender age of 16, I considered myself a local ice cream connoisseur. Little did I know, that within a matter of mere minutes, my world was going to change forever and the word “Mitchell’s” would be near and dear to my heart for years to come.

After making the short drive from my brother’s apartment to the Mitchell’s in Rocky River, I was still apprehensive. From the outside, Mitchell’s looked like your typical neighborhood ice cream shop: big and square with lines of little leaguers as far as the eye could see. However, once on the inside, I knew this joint wasn’t anything that I had experienced before.

As soon as I walked through those glass doors of wonder, my entire being was assaulted by the smell of freshly baked waffle cones. The décor was clean and bright, and everyone was smiling and laughing, almost like I had stepped out of Cleveland and into some alternate universe where ice cream is the only thing that matters and hot fudge is valued like currency. Instantly, I felt at home.

Despite the delicious array of ice cream flavors, I was in the mood for a milkshake, and ordered up my all time favorite– chocolate peanut butter. I know, I know. Amateur move, you might be thinking. But I disagree; milkshakes are often the true measure of an ice cream shop’s abilities. Let me explain.

It takes a lot to make the perfect peanut butter shake, let alone chocolate peanut butter. The two flavors need to shine on their own yet compliment one another perfectly. The chocolate can easily overtake the peanut butter and vice versa, and if crafted incorrectly, you’re left with a dissatisfying combo that leaves you in desperate need of a Reese’s Cup and a glass of milk.

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When my shake was finished, the cashier handed me a see-through plastic cup, which was a noticeable departure from the Styrofoam cups of my childhood. But then, I noticed it – swirls and swirls of peanut butter. I could actually see them. This was a very good sign.

I took my first sip, and was pleasantly surprised by the richness of the chocolate. This was real chocolate ice cream, none of that vanilla-ice-cream-mixed-with-Hershey’s-syrup nonsense found in so many other shops. Then it hit me – a big chunk of salty peanut butter so thick that I could barely move it up the straw. From that moment, I knew I was in love. I had found the peanut butter chocolate shake of my dreams. Later that evening, when I could still detect the faint aroma of waffle cone in my hair, I knew that my life would never be the same.

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Since that first experience, I have returned to Mitchell’s more times than I can remember. And in case you are wondering, their ice creams are even better than their milkshakes. With flavors like Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp and Key Lime Pie, can you really blame me for my infatuation? Not only are their ice creams to die for, but their story is amazing too! Two brothers from Cleveland that use fresh, local ingredients and who dedicate themselves – and their business- to their beloved Northeastern Ohio community.

In case you couldn’t already tell, I have this weird, emotional connection to Mitchell’s that I can only liken to a real, human relationship. The site of their bright and happy logo puts butterflies in my stomach, and knowing that I have a pint (or two or three) in the freezer is ultimate satisfaction. But enough about me; on to the ice cream!

Now, without further ado – an ice cream that needs no introduction. I present to you, Mitchell’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup.

I mean, would you LOOK at this?!

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Look to your left, peanut butter cup. Look to your right, more peanut butter cups. There are peanut butter cups as far as the eye can see!

Per the description on the pint, the base ice cream is “chocolate peanut butter,” but there are no visible swirls of peanut butter – the two flavors just melt seamlessly together in some magical way that my mind doesn’t understand but my heart just knows is right. The chocolate base is rich and dark, and the peanut butter cups – oh the peanut butter cups! There are at least two huge chunks in every mouthful. Let’s take a closer look.

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Be still, my heart. There are no words to describe such delicious, life-changing perfection.

If you live within driving distance of Cleveland and you’ve never experienced Mitchell’s, stop reading this and go. JUST GO. What are you waiting for???

Mitchell’s is by far my favorite local brand – what’s yours?

Happy scooping!

Mint Chocolate Chip and Waffle Cones

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Hello world! Welcome to my ice cream blog 🙂

I’ve thought long and hard about what I would like to say in this very first post, calling on years and years of ice cream eating experience for inspiration (and trust me, I’ve eaten A LOT of ice cream). Then I decided that it would only be appropriate if I kick this blog thing off right by dedicating some time to the flavor that started it all for me: mint chocolate chip. So listen up, mint chocolate chip – this one’s for you!

Mint chocolate chip was my go-to flavor throughout most of my childhood. After all, what kid doesn’t love mint chocolate chip? I’m convinced that even if you hate the minty flavor, the pure and simple fact that it is GREEN and LOVELY and WONDERFUL should be enough to warrant a spoonful or two now and again.

To be clear, I don’t love all mint chocolate chip ice cream; I have very specific requirements. Behold:

1) Mint choclate chip must be green. Yes, I realize that I am not 6 years old and there are plenty of delicious mint varieties that are white in color. But really, what’s the point? If it’s not green, I don’t want it.

2) It must have big, fat chocolate chips that are long and rectangular-shaped. Any other form is unacceptable (I’m talking to you, chocolate flakies). The chocolate must be shiny and dark, almost waxy in texture, so that it can properly stand out against the mint green color and provide a satisfying crunch/snap/munch while being eaten.

3) Lastly, mint chocolate chip must be served on a waffle cone. I have no reasonable argument for this other than the fact that cones are generally more fun than bowls, and mint chip is suppose to be fun! Green ice cream is meant to make a mess – embrace it!

Although I’ve spent my adult years trying to expand my palette (hello, bone marrow), at the end of the day, I’m still very much a Beef-n-Cheddar and curly fries kinda gal. Yes, all of the trendy lavendar-lemon-rosemary-honey ice cream concoctions out there are quite lovely, but mint chocolate chip is one of those uncomplicated staple flavors that the world will love forever, like chocolate and strawberry but even perhaps a little more special. Really, mint chocolate chip is the reason that I fell in love with ice cream, and consequently, why I started this blog.

So, Mint Chocolate Chip, I celebrate you in all of your simple glory, and to show you my appreciation for the years of happiness that you have bestowed upon me, I offer you this homemade waffle cone to make your home.

Happy scooping!

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Homemade Waffle Cones

Yield: 4 to 6 cones

Ingredients:

1 whole egg + 1 egg white
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled to room temperature

Directions:

1. In a medium sized bowl, mix the eggs and salt until evenly combined, about 1 minute.

2. Add the sugar, and beat for 2 minutes, until combined.

3. Gently add the first 1/3 cup of flour, stirring until it is absorbed into the batter.

4. Add the second portion of flour, then stir until all flour is incorporated and batter is smooth.

5. Add the melted butter, and stir until blended.

6. Add about 1/8 cup of batter to preheated waffle cone iron, and let cook until the waffle iron setting indicates that the waffle is finished. You want the cone to be a golden brown – if the waffle isn’t as dark as you would like it, feel free to leave it in the iron for a few more minutes (just make sure it doesn’t burn!)

7. Remove the waffle from the iron with a spatula and immediately place onto a hot towel. Use the towel to tightly wrap the waffle around a cone form, making sure you pinch the bottom of the cone so that ice cream cannot leak out in the future (Or, you can just add a mini marshmallow or some chocolate chips). Hold the cone around the mold for a few seconds to ensure it sets its shape, then place in a drinking glass or cone holder to allow it to cool.

Finished cones should last a few weeks when stored in an airtight container.

A quick note: If you don’t have a waffle cone iron, you can try baking the cones on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 350°. I’ve never tried it before – I needed to justify my somewhat pricey waffle cone iron purchase, and thus needed to ensure that I had no alternative cone-making methods available :)I have, however, tried this recipe in a Belgian waffle maker. Makes a huge mess – just don’t even bother!

Mastering the cone making process takes time and practice; you might want to double the recipe to allow for a test batch. You’ll learn what works best with your iron as you go. And don’t worry if your cones aren’t perfect– that’s the beauty of homemade things, isn’t it?

Enjoy!